Beetroot Poriyal (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Poriyal (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Poiyal

This is one of my favourite Indian stir-fries, it’s vibrant, tasty and spicy, everything you want from Indian food, but also healthy, full of vitamins and anti-oxidants, all you want from food in general!

It’s origins stem from southern India, where the use of coconut and mustard seeds is much more prevalent

I love to serve this as a little canapé in a vegan filo shell with a nice cold crisp glass of wine. I generally make a bigger batch and also have it with rice as a light mid week dinner

You can also use this recipe with another vegetable, e.g. cabbage that I have done and served like a taco with poppadum. I have served that at dinner parties topped with pomegranates for a hit of sweetness and acidity

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 cups cooked and grated beetroot
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp. grated coconut

Method

  • In a pan heat the coconut oil, keep the heat low and add the mustard seeds
  • When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the green chilli, curry leaves
  • Add the beetroot, mix well
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add the coconut, mix well
  • Serve with rice, roti or in a tart cup as a canapé

 

 

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Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan, DF, GF)

Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan, DF, GF)

Stuffed Eggplant

This is a recipe that I saw in Vegetarian Living and adapted to add in some Indian Flair to deepen the flavour profile. I had pulled it out the mag with a note to adapt and when my father in law handed me some Eggplant/Aubergine and Tomatoes straight out of his garden, I knew this was the recipe to make

It is a great technique for an Eggplant, as letting some of the water come out and taking strips of the skin off before baking, makes for a softer inside

I love the depth of flavour I was able to get with this; it is very satisfying and a real changing of the season’s dish. Mr B is a big fan of Eggplant and Spicy Tomatoes and I added some extra spice for him, which you can adapt to your own palate. You can also double up the batch for the tomato topping and use it on something else. I like to eat it on it’s own with a little rice sometimes adding some chickpea’s or even on toast for a mid day treat

Processed with MOLDIV

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines/eggplant
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
  • Handful of basil, chiffon/chopped
  • Handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½. Tsp. garam masala
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven
  • Partially peel the aubergines, lengthways, alternating to create strips. Leave the crowns in tact
  • Sprinkle with salt and place in a sieve to let some of the water come out. Leave for 30 minutes and wipe with a paper towel once done
  • Brush with olive oil and roast for 25 minutes
  • Whilst the aubergine is cooking, add oil to a pan and fry the shallots until starting to turn golden, c. 3 minutes
  • Add the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil and coriander, cook for 1 minute
  • Season with cumin, coriander, paprika and garam masala
  • Add to combine and cook the spices a little
  • Once spices are starting to give off fragrance, add the tomatoes. Cook down and add salt and pepper to your own taste
  • Meanwhile take out the aubergine and slice down the middle, making sure not to cut to the bottom
  • Stuff the aubergine with the mixture, turn off the oven and let it bake until the aubergine is soft and pillowy
  • Serve with rice, almond yogurt or eat on its own (this is what I do)

 

 

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, DF, GF)

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, DF, GF)

Blondie Brownies

Oh so gooey, tasty, yummy, fudgy brownie blondies..

This is an easy blend and bake recipe, so you can do it when whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil or whilst you are making the kids lunches

The Japanese tend to use sweetened bean pastes, like red bean, in their pastries and this is a nice parallel. It has the texture of a fudge brownie and is sweet but not too sweet, making it great for a midmorning snack

This recipe is super high in protein from the chickpeas and triple use of almonds in the almond meal/flour, almond butter and almond milk. It is gluten free also with the almond flour the only flour used

Mr B has a prolific sweet tooth and he loved these and found them more satisfying in a way as they kept him fuller for longer, whilst still satisfying that sweet craving in a natural way

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2, 15oz cans of organic chickpeas
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Method

  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined
  • Pour into an oiled bread tin
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

 

Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry) (GF, Vegan)

Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry)  (GF, Vegan)

Chole

Food is love when words are inadequate

My grandma always made you feel like she had been waiting for you all day and when you arrived her day was now complete

The first thing I had to do after taking off my shoes and putting away my bag was to taste what ever my grandma had been creating all day in the kitchen

This is a dish that you can smell as soon as you walk into the house, as it is rich in spices. It is also low in calories but high in protein so it is a great staple

A lot of my grandma’s dishes took a long time to cook, but this one is a 30-minute meal. As with most Indian dishes however the longer you cook down the spices the more concentrated the dish and the longer you leave the dish the more intense it tastes, so remember to leave some for the next day

I used two chills for this as Mr B has a spicy palate, but you should adjust to your own taste

My grandma used to serve this with rice; I like it on its own. You can also serve this to your guests as a canapé in a Phyllo cup or on top of a chickpea pancake (see earlier recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 tsps. Finely chopped ginger
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chilli’s
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • ½ cup of water

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant
  • Add the onions, ginger, garlic, chilli’s and season with salt
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent
  • Add the garam masala, coriander powder, salt and turmeric, stir until well combined
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and water
  • Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce slightly thickens
  • Serve in a phyllo cup, with rice or on a chickpea pancake

Vegan Crab Cakes (GF, Vegan)

Vegan Crab Cakes (GF, Vegan)

Crab Cakes

What to cook for game day? Vegan crab cakes of course! These are a pretty tasty treat, with the heart of palm being the substitute for the crab. However in my opinion this is a case of when the understudy is better than the original actor.

I used old bay seasoning for this to replicate the authentic taste and vegan mayonnaise for the texture. I used gluten free breadcrumbs, which I seasoned with garlic, onion and paprika. Panko also works nicely if gluten is no concern.

Mr B loves jumbo crab cakes, like you get in the steak houses in New York City and so I’ll make him a larger sized, but it is easier to get them crispy with a smaller portion. I use an ice-cream scope to get an even portion size, but you could use the palm of your hand for a rough approximate.

Ingredients

  • 1 can, hearts of palm
  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. old bay seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup chives, finely chopped
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350f. Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Thinly slice the hearts of palm lengthwise, then crosswise
  • Transfer to a bowl and break up using your hands, add the vegannaise, bay, salt and pepper, chives
  • Sprinkle half the bread crumbs into the mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Form into 14 portions
  • Spread the remaining bread crumbs into a small dish and cover the cakes pressing down a little to make sure the crumb adheres
  • Paint the parchment paper with a little coconut oil
  • Place the cakes down with a little spacing inbetween
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown

Okra Pakora (GF, Vegan)

Okra Pakora (GF, Vegan)

Okra Pakora

My grandma used to make Pakoras all the time. Here classics were potato, bread with chutney in the middle and chilli (which Mr B would eat till his eyes watered). She also used to make pakoras to use up the leftovers, as she hated waste, so we would get spinach or salad pakoras when the leaves were starting to wilt. Whatever she made them out of they were always delicious and addictive

I love Okra Masala but have always been intrigued by Okra Pakoras, so that is where I thought I would start. Okra is a scary vegetable for most cooks to use due to the slimy inside which appears the more you cook it. This is a great recipe as you use this as the moisture of the dish and the more the better!

A little known fact is that the inside is made of sugar and protein and similar to the inside of the Aloe Vera plant. It is also known for being high in vitamin c, vitamin k and folate. It is also known for harnessing a superior fiber, which helps with digestion and stabilises blood sugar. Who knew!

Serve this with any chutney you like, or organic ketchup for the kids!

Ingredients

  • 10 Okra
  • 2 green chilli’s
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 curry leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp. hing
  • ¾ cup chickpea/besan flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Oil for deep frying

Method

  • Firstly clean and wipe the okra then chop into small pieces
  • Add chilli, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric, chilli powder and hing
  • Add the chickpea flour, rice flour and salt
  • Combine all the ingredients, use your hands to squeeze the moisture out of the okra and bind the pakoras together
  • Add a little water if more moisture is needed to form a batter
  • Take a tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and shape into a ball
  • Drop into hot oil
  • Fry until golden brown
  • Serve with chutney

Baby Eggplant Curry (GF, Vegan)

Baby Eggplant Curry (GF, Vegan)

Baby Eggplant Curry

This is a luxury curry. It is has a rich masala and is full of layers of spice and taste. Mr B and I tried it at our favourite Indian restaurant and he asked me to make it. This proves how far we have come, as Mr B was a firm ‘food is for fuel’ man before he met me and certainly didn’t ask me to cook savoury dishes, never mind Indian ones

The thing about Indian food that we like is that it can taste really bad for you, given the richness of the sauce, but when you make it from scratch and see the actual ingredients, you realise that they are all good for you and that the spices are actual medicinal in nature

Ingredients

For the curry paste

  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup grated coconut

For the dish

  • 8 baby eggplants
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. blended garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp. blended ginger
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • ¼ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing
  • 1-2 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves

Method

  • Wash the baby eggplants, slit across the top, leaving the stem in
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil and shallow fry the baby eggplants until tender and soft. Once done remove and keep aside
  • Dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds for a few minutes
  • Place in a blender with the coconut and blender to make a paste (add a little water if needed)
  • In the same pan as that which you fried the eggplant, add the last tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds, cumin and hing. Add onions and fry till transparent
  • Add the ginger, garlic and mix well
  • Add the grounded paste, red chilli powder, coriander and turmeric powder
  • Add ¼ cup water and bring to the boil
  • Add the tamarind paste and salt
  • Mix in the eggplants
  • Mix it well with the masala and cover with a lid
  • Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium flame
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with rice or roti